A CASH-STRAPPED East Renfrewshire football club has been thrown a financial lifeline after a UK money giant became its sponsor.

With around 1,200 boys and girls on its books, Giffnock Soccer Centre is Scotland’s biggest community football club.

However, since the start of the Covid pandemic more than a year ago, thousands of pounds in subscriptions have been lost after playing restrictions were imposed by the Scottish Government.

Now the club has announced that finance experts Schroders Personal Wealth (SPW) have agreed to pump an undisclosed sum into its coffers for the next year.

Giffnock chair Jim Docherty told Barrhead Sport: “We really value the support of Schroders.

“Now more than ever, we need business in Scotland to back community sport.

“Key members of the Schroders team live within a goal-kick of our pitches. They understand the club and what we are working to achieve in the community.

“We have big plans for Giffnock Soccer Centre to reach more and more young people through football. Working with Schroders will be a key element of that journey.”

SPW, which has links to the likes of Lloyds and Scottish Widows, employs 40 staff in Scotland and has offices across the UK.

Donald Gateley, the firm’s regional director, said: “Supporting Giffnock Soccer Centre through 2021 is a privilege, especially during these difficult times for players, families and the wider community.

“Sport plays a fundamental part in our overall wellbeing – something that has always been important but is becoming increasingly so as the country recovers from the challenges of the last 12 months.”

Over the years, Giffnock have developed stars such as Scotland captain Andy Robertson, former Rangers ace Kyle Hutton and defender Jamie Hamilton, who currently plays in the Scottish Premiership with Hamilton Accies.

However, the club fears many promising young players may have been lost to the beautiful game during the Covid lockdown.

In March, Barrhead Sport told how Giffnock had written to the Scottish Football Association (SFA) to highlight concerns over the future of youth football.

The club has called for the introduction of summer football this year to get kids back playing the game and for council facilities to stay open during that period.